Jumping on the bandwagon is easy but driving it to the destination is a completely different ball game. Many have failed to walk the talk. But failure was not something Vijender Singh, the son of a bus driver, was destined for.Born into a Jat family in Bhiwani, Haryana – a place known for producing one of the finest boxers of the country – Vijender’s journey has been an inspiring one. From clambering through the ropes of the Bhiwani Boxing Club to becoming an Olympic medallist and then foraying into the glitz and glamour of pro-boxing, Vijender’s story is one of the most vivid rags-to-riches journeys in the sport of boxing.A lot has changed for Vijender, whose father once worked overtime to support his boxing career. And that too in his first year in pro-boxing!With just six fights under his belt, Vijender last week unanimously defeated Australia’s Kerry Hope, who had an experience of 30 fights in 12 years, to win his maiden title and extend his record to seven wins from as many fights.And having made an excellent entry into the professional arena, Vijender is only hungry for more success.The Beijing Olympics bronze medallist reckons the Asia-Pacific title is just a beginning and there is still a lot of gas left in his tank.”After this title, I am ranked No. 15th in the world. So, I have just completed one step and it is a long road ahead. I want to win a world title one day. I am practicing hard. It is just the beginning and there’s a lot to achieve,” Vijender told in an exclusive chat.Vijender’s victory against Hope was a special one. It was his first professional fight on home soil and also his career’s first 10-round bout.It was a historic moment not only for the boxer but also for the vaguely followed sport of pro-boxing in India.Vijender hopes his success will only help it get recognised in the country.”We delivered on what we had promised earlier and I feel happy to do it in India,” he said.”People like it and that’s the good thing… people want change. That’s why they came for my fight. It was a huge hit. The stadium was jam-packed and some people were even waiting outside. It is good for us. It feels good to see boxing getting so much support in India. People are loving it and it proves that our efforts are in the right way,” he added.Vijender’s Asian title has also fuelled the rumours of a prospective showdown between him and British professional boxer of Pakistani origin, Amir Khan. However, both the boxers fall in different weight categories.Khan, a former WBA world champion, is primarily a lightweight boxer, who recently tried his luck in the middleweight category by taking on world champion Saul Canelo Alvarez. However, it ended in disaster for him when he was knocked out in the sixth round.Khan, who is also an Olympic silver medallist, after the latter’s title victory.”Congratulations to @boxervijender on the win. Careful what you wish for kid!”However, it had no impact on Vijender, who says he is ready to fight Khan anywhere in the world.”If it happens, it will be a huge fight. I am ready for it, ready to take that challenge. I am on. That’s my message to Amir. But I don’t when it will happen but if it becomes a reality, like the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight. We want it to happen soon. I am ready to fight him anywhere,” he signed off.
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